The Off-Season Begins- Looking Ahead

That was embarrassing to the Cardinals and their fans. Yes, it was great to win the NL Central and stuff but man they laid an egg against Washington. So let’s not review much but look ahead at the next season.

Catcher

Nothing changes with Molina plus I hope that Matt Wieters wants to return. He may get a better offer somewhere else.

First Base

Goldschmidt returns but let’s hope he gets back to his Arizona form. The fastball missed in th NLCS was alarming.

Second Base

Kolten Wong is likely to return as everyone loves his defense but what happened against the Nationals? He made some crucial errors and his hitting became non-existent.

 

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Shortstop

It belongs to Paul DeJong and his big contract but the offense was ower or bust. His average dipped to a low enough level that Manager Shildt had hom hitting 8th in the lineup.

Third Base

Sorry Matt Carpenter but in my world ypu are gone. What they can do to move him should be accomplished. He has a rag arm and an anemic bat for this pst season. He may have handled it well but that isn’t enough to just “live ith it.”

Tommy Edman has to be the regular third baseman. He shows a very good leather at the hot corner and appears comfortable there. His bat was sufficient but quieted with the great Washington pitching.

Left Field

Let Ozuna walk. The Cardinals will give him a qualifying offer of $17.9m. He may take it but, then again, he may try his luck in the open market. Afterall, his bat was abut the lone star in the final series in the NLCS.It appears the team wants to get Dylan Carlson his due in the outfield and this is the chance to do it.

Center Field

I would like to stick with HArrison Bader as his defense is very good. His bat was weak for the primary portion of the 2019 season. Unless the Cardinals can find a power guy to play in center, it belongs to Bader.

Right Field

Likely Dexter Fowler starts here but I could see the organization moving him. There is a potpourri of other out fielders but most are likely not ready for the major leagues. I am talking about Randy Arozarena, Tyler O’Neill, Adolis Garcia and Lane Thomas.

As far as Jose Martinez, I believe he is as good a gone. Shildt rarely used him after Sept. 2nd and then only to pinch hit for the most part. The drope fly ball in Game 4 of the NLCS was his fault and that may have been the final straw

Bench

Yairo Munoz didn’t get as much time this season as last. Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo will get spot time on the roster.

Pitchers

Where to start? The rotation is anchored by Jack Flaherty.  After that it includes Miles Mikolas, although he must get better again, and Dakota Hudson. Looking back, Hudson wasn’t sharp in any game in the postseason but is serviceable during the regular year. I believe the Cardinals will get Ryan Helsley ready to become a starter.

I am passing on Adam Wainwright for another year and Michael Wacha goes away as a free agent. Either Carlos Martinez is a starter or it is time to move him in a trade.

From the IL we have Alex Reyes and Jordan Hicks that are impactful. Hicks , when ready, goes to the pen and Reyes, when ready will get a steady diet of bullpen work. It is Reys that I expect the least from.

The pen was labeled as the best in the National League but man, oh man, there is a lot of work to be done.

Management

Sorry but Mozeliak (and maybe with DeWitt’s blessing) didn’t do enough to get the Cardinals very far in the postseason. It should be an early hook if the team falters in 2020 for him.

Mike Shildt is here for another year. One of the faults given his predecessor, Mike Matheny, was too many lineup changes. Shildt didn’t have enough. He must fine the balance.

Mike Maddux should be back for another year.

Jeff Albert and Jobel Jimenez are the batting coaches and shouldn’t be back in my opinion based on the hitting approach in th NLCS against the Washington Nationals.

 

All in all, a shakeup is needed to rid the team of a few veterans. The Cardinals need to spend some money on above average free agents if they can convince them to come to St Louis. That is becoming the big issue.

Keep watching here for more and more blogs during the off-season.

 

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